Formula One boss rebuffs $400 mln BayernLB claim

German Landesbank BayernLB is seeking $400 million in damages from Bernie Ecclestone, a move the Formula One motor racing chief said he would fight in court if need be.

BayernLB said on Thursday it had approached Ecclestone's lawyers about seeking damages over a deal in 2005 to sell its stake in Formula One.

Information from the trial this summer of BayernLB's former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky has subsequently led the Munich-based lender to conclude it had sold its Formula One stake on the cheap, a financial source said on Thursday.

Speaking at the hospitality suite at the F1 Grand Prix in India, Ecclestone said, They asked our lawyers in Germany. They said could we have 400 million back? I did not respond. There is no point, is there?

Ecclestone said he has not offered to settle. Asked whether he was prepared to go to court, he said, Yeah, absolutely.

Gribkowsky, who admitted to taking bribes during the stake sale, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison by a Munich court in June.

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